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Comparing Codecs for 2004 233

Posted by michael
from the CGA-is-all-anyone-should-ever-need dept.
MunchMunch writes "Popular encoding/guide/news site doom9.org has just put up its codec shoot-out for 2004, comparing 3ivx 5.0, Divx Fusion 5.9 (prerelease 6.0), Nero Digital Main Profile and High Profile, RealVideo 10, On2 VP6, VideoSoft's VSS, Xvid 1.0, MS's WMV9 and, last, newcomer Jomingo's HDX4. The comparison covers the speed, accuracy, target-file-size-adherence and other aspects of the codecs -- but also lets you compare yourself via high- and low-bandwidth framegrabs of each codec with a nice zoomable image-swap script."
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Comparing Codecs for 2004

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  • Winner (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:04AM (#11237546)
    Nero Digital won on quality, but for both speed and quality, doom9.org concludes XviD is currently the best solution.
    • Re:Winner (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hackeron (704093)
      What about libavcodec (mencoder's default)? I ran some xvid vs lavc myself and found lavc to be of better quality vs size. Isnt it ironic the best codec isnt even in the comparison?

      Reminds me of those sound codec tests where vorbis wasnt present :)
      • Re:Winner (Score:2, Informative)

        by Hackeron (704093)
        libavcodec (lavc) is part of the ffmpeg project: http://ffmpeg.sourceforge.net/
      • No offense, but your opinion doesn't necessarily make it the best. If you had performed a slightly more thorough test, like these people have, then that might be true, but well...you see what I'm getting at.

      • Re:Winner (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dahan (130247)
        Um, libavcodec isn't a codec. It's a library implementing various codecs. So which codec in libavcodec did you want to test?

        MPEG1
        MPEG2
        MPEG4
        MSMPEG4 V1
        MSMPEG4 V2
        MSMPEG4 V3
        WMV7
        WMV8
        H.261
        H.263(+)
        MJPEG
        Lossless MJPEG
        DV
        Huff YUV
        FFmpeg Video 1
        FFmpeg Snow
        Asus v1
        Asus v2
        Sorenson Video 1
        FLV
        ZLIB

        Those are the video codecs that libavcodec [sourceforge.net] currently implements an encoder for.

        It sounds like you've confused the codecs with specific implementations of those codecs.

    • Re:Winner (Score:5, Informative)

      by dsparil (844576) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @08:51AM (#11237938)
      NeroDigital was declared the overall winner, not XviD. XviD had the best quality versus encoding speed. TFA specically says

      Finally, XviD, one year after taking the crown, had to give it back. It would've won again, if it were not for ateme's AVC codecs. So, if you make DVD backups now that need to work on a standalone or slower machine, XviD is still a very good option, but I guess we'll see AVC capable decoder chips in 2005.

      and

      Looking at the encoding speed table, this was an easy pick: XviD clearly delivers the best quality per FPS and shows that high speed is not detrimental to quality at all. Also, ateme's Main Profile encoder delivered a good 31.40 fps, which is very respectable for an AVC codec, and thus it earned the 2nd place in this category.
  • H.264 (Score:4, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:06AM (#11237551)
    I realize it's not available yet, but it's coming [apple.com]...and frankly, it's pretty amazing. Scales from 3G handheld devices to HD content, already part of the forthcoming HD-DVD and Bluray Disc formats, not to mention being an ITU and MPEG standard, etc.
  • Wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:07AM (#11237553) Homepage Journal
    but also lets you compare yourself via high- and low-bandwidth framegrabs of each codec with a nice zoomable image-swap script
    If ever there was a summary that said "slashdotting", that was it.
    • It's important to understand that most default PNG exporters are not very good. You should use a PNG optimizer, such as Ken Silverman's PNGOUT [advsys.net] or Cosmin Truta's OptiPNG [toronto.edu]. Let us focus on the matrix3-3ivx-6364.png image:
      • Default: 129,002 bytes
      • OptiPNG: 121,967 bytes
      • PNGOUT: 113,759 bytes

      It may not seem much, but it adds up. Sometimes you can reduce the bit depth (for gray scale), make a palette (for drawings and charts that don't need 64 bits of color depth), and reduce resolution. Some more tricks are at

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:08AM (#11237558)
    I'm an Amiga user, where is FLC you incensitive clod?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm a clod and I find this post highly offensive!!!!
    • Re:What no FLC? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bert64 (520050)
      Wasn't FLC an animation format used mostly on DOS? Amiga users had CDXL, one of the first codecs capable of streaming video from a cd, and playable on a 1x drive with a 7mhz cpu.. Obviously the quality is nothing compared to modern formats, but for it's time it was amazing.. It predates mpeg by several years for instance.
      • Screw CDXL, I watch all my movies on an Amiga A500 encoded as IFF animations.

        And they'd damned well better fit on an 880K floppy!
    • FLC is actually an autodesk format you insensitive clod. Oddly enough Amiga's can't play FLC files out of the box.

      On the Amiga its native format was ANIM, and CDXL (cdxl was a method of doing full motion movies with the cdtv and cd32).
    • It'll be in the new Amigas. Just keep waiting!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:13AM (#11237568)
    from my experiences with what i've played with, snow far surpasses all these codecs. its the only currently realistic wavelet choice, and it hasnt even been optimized for speed. you need a good processor though. mplayer has support for snow now!
    • Man, when I was young, we used to twiddle the rabbit ears for hours to try to get rid of snow.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Michael Niedermayer is the author and afaik he works for fraunhofer. but i believe the snow video codec is based on wavelets, no more blocks, and is open source.

      but i dont have an account so this will be buried at score 0.

      i cant believe nobody on slashdot knows of this great codec. which as i said is supported by mencoder/mplayer now!
  • Theora? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mano78 (571399) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:16AM (#11237574)
    From a quite-newbie point of view: is there a reason why Ogg Theora isn't included? Given the quality and increasing popularity of Vorbis, I would have expected at least a mention. And it would have been interesting to know its state relative to the others.
    • The bitstream format of Ogg Theora has been frozen, meaning that any Theora video now will still be a valid Theora video in the future.

      Theora encoders are very likely nowhere near the level maturity held by some of the other codecs here (somebody who knows better back that up for me - I know nothing about Theora encoders) that have actually been around for ages. Still, it would have been nice to see Theora in action. Even if it was just as a comparison of how far they have to go really, it would have bee
    • Re:Theora? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Weird O'Puns (749505) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:36AM (#11237622)

      Theora is still in alpha stages and still has many problems with it. Currently it doesn't stand a chance with the codecs in the shoot-out, especially with the bitrates they were using in the tests.

      That being said, remember that Theora is already pretty useful for low bitrate Internet streams.

      • Theora works. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        About five months ago I got the theora encoder compiling in OS X.. Encoded a test 5 minute short. It was TINY and playback (through VLC or MPlayer I think) was great. It should have been included in any comparison.
        • Re:Theora works. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Weird O'Puns (749505)
          As I said, Theora is good at lower bitrates but with higher bitrates there's still some performance problems with the codec. The Doom9.net comparison focused on ripping movies and they used bitrates between 600 - 1000 kbps. At these rates the Theora codec still performs quite poorly.

          If (or when) the developers manage to solve these problems Theora will become a viable codec, but if they had reviewed it now, it would have only gotten a bad publicity.

      • An On2 derivative (Score:4, Informative)

        by Hal XP (807364) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @07:02AM (#11237747) Journal
        At this stage Theora [theora.org] is not much more than a mutation of the On2 VP3 codec, which On2 donated to the free software community.

        A quote from the Theora faq [theora.org]:

        Q. Is the Theora bitstream identical to VP3?

        Yes and No. Theora is a superset of VP3, so VP3 streams (with minor syntactic modifications) can be made into Theora streams without recompression (but not vice versa).

        Theora will be almost entirely based upon the VP3 codec designed by On2. However, Theora video data will be delivered inside of the Ogg container format (with Vorbis for audio), so Ogg Theora files will not be the same as VP3 files. There also may be quite a few performance advantages to using Theora when 1.0 is complete. While our focus is integration, there will certainly be a lot of optimization involved, as well.

        So there! Theora is optimized VP3, which means there's a good chance it would turn out to be a faster codec. But as far as visual quality is concerned Theora is likely to be just as good or just as bad as VP3.

        On2 itself is well represented in the survey by its VP6 codec, and judging from the pseudo version numbers on the codec names, it should be safe to assume that VP3 is inferior to VP6 (VP6 - VP3 = 3 generations of development).

        • Re:An On2 derivative (Score:3, Informative)

          by eht (8912)
          Heh, I used to work for On2 4 years ago, the version numbers are like those of Netscape and Slackware, they just plain jump a number, or the codecs were created internally but were never actually released.

          Those of us who left (and one friend who still works for them) are quite surprised they're still around, they used to be big into codecs for video games back when they were Duck, one of their last projects was helping port FFVII to the PC, and they did a lot of Sega stuff too before that
    • Re:Theora? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Inf0phreak (627499) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @06:47AM (#11237720)
      AFAIK, Theora doesn't fit into the toolchain that Doom9 uses with AviSynth because it doesn't have a DirectShow filter of VfW implementation (Please feel free to correct me though).

      I think you have to use a command line encoder that only accepts some weird raw picture format which by my (and most other persons', I presume) standards is just silly and in no way usable (*). Unless mencoder supports it, of course. But that still doesn't work with his usual toolchain.

      (*): And don't come with that "oh, but it's alpha software. Things like that can wait!" because it won't get any use or testing at all if they keep it that way. So when 1.0 finally comes out they get bashed for its horrible quality and have to spend months tuning their encoder again, doing work they could have saved themselves had they had better testing from the start. That's how I guess it's going to be when 1.0 finally comes around.

      PS: I still think it's a pretty cool project and with the java implementation for streaming, it would be very nice to see more wide-spread use of Theora, but I won't be holding my breath.

    • Re:Theora? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Bulln-Bulln (659072) <bulln-bulln@netscape.net> on Sunday January 02, 2005 @07:12AM (#11237765)
      Theora is based on On2's VP3 and this codec was removed from Doom9.org's codec comparisons long ago, because it's old and didn't have significant (if any) improvement in quality. The same thing happend with "DivX ;-) 3" (the hacked MS codec).
      These codecs have not been removed, because the Doom9 guy hate them or something, but because the old test results still apply and testing them over and over again would just be a waste of time.

      IIRC VP3 (and DivX 3) was removed in 2003. So check out a comparison from 2003 to see how it performs.
      • Re:Theora? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Bulln-Bulln (659072) <bulln-bulln@netscape.net> on Sunday January 02, 2005 @07:26AM (#11237785)
        Argh, I don't like to reply to myself, but check out the first page:
        "I've re-included Microsoft's WMV9 (...)"
        This means that WMV9 was dropped in the past, too.

        It contimiues: "(...) especially since it is part of the specification of HD DVD and Blu-ray. There have been some improvements in WMV9 (...)"

        So this means that Theora is not dropped forever. When Theora hits a significant milestone (1.0?) and shows improvements in quality over VP3, it's likely to be tested again.
    • by rseuhs (322520) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @09:08AM (#11237968)
      The sad truth is that as long as xiph is dominated by stubborn, arrogant technocrats, it will have a pretty hard time.

      Ogg-Vorbis is the best audio-codec technically - but everybody calls it "ogg" and not "ogg-vorbis" because the file extension is .ogg

      Effectively, xiph does everything possible to sabotage their own product: It doesn't have a good sounding name, it doesn't have a consistent name ("ogg" versus "ogg-vorbis"), they don't have any buttons/banners to put on products on xiph.org and there is lots of confusion about container format (ogg) and codec (vorbis), which is the "U"-part from FUD.

      The only reason anybody uses ogg at all is because it is excellent technically and beats all other audio codecs by a longshot.

      Unfortunately, the guys at xiph don't acknowledge that fact and insist of wanting to have videos with .ogg extension, too, which is doomed to fail because nobody wants to have audio and video to have the same file extension.

      The users have created a pseudo standard file extension of .ogm for XVid/Vorbis streams which does quite well in the P2P-networks (= successful), but Ogg/Theora has the problem that it isn't as mature and even when they mature probably won't be *that* much better than the others. So even if the xiph guys manage to put out a competitive Theora codec, their own confusion and uncertainity (especially their stubborn and idiotic decision to have .ogg for both audio and video) will sabotage any hopes of success, the way I see it.

      Which is really unfortunate.

      Things would be much better if they would use .ogt or something for ogg/Theora, but the guys at xiph just refuse to :-(

  • No OGM? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by metricmusic (766303)
    ..... Not only does ogg theora have great video quality but it has multiple subtitle support built in, which is great for up-coming unlicensed-yet anime and other foreign films.
    • Re:No OGM? (Score:5, Informative)

      by imsabbel (611519) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:23AM (#11237592)
      OGM is only a file container, so it doesnt matter.
      And ogg theora is a VERY outdated version of the vp codec. VP6.x was tested, theora is based on vp4.something, a more than 2 years outdated codebase.
      draw you own conclusions
      • Re:No OGM? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bloater (12932) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:51AM (#11237645) Homepage Journal
        Theora is based on VP3.2

        Theora also has some changes that allow potentially much higher quality - although the reference encoder doesn't use them yet. Also the current reference encoder tries to encode noise very faithfully, and that causes noticeable quality issues (especially "beating" at low bitrates on noisy source data). Having said that, I normally find Theora to be noticeably better quality at the same bitrate than DivX.
    • .ogm is usually an ogg-container with a XVid video track and an Vorbis audio track.

      And XVid was the winner last year and second this time - Vorbis is the best audio codec in most listening tests.

  • Progress (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:38AM (#11237627)
    Overall, the progress is just astounding. When I compare clips of say movies from 3 years ago to ones you can find now, the file sizes have remained the same but the quality of both video and audio have gone way up. I don't know much about video codecs but I do recall back then there still being MPEG 4 in the game, so maybe it's more about modern tweaks?
    • Re:Progress (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:43AM (#11237632)
      Also makes one snicker... I recall content producers saying that selling high quality television/video streaming over the Internet is not feasible (the amount of data that has to be shipped). Well, they were wrong it seems... instead of putting all that money in lawyers' pockets, they could have helped develop technologies to produce new revenue streams. As is, they sat idly by while others made the technologies that will probably obsolete TV/movie content producers.
    • MPEG4 specification provided some tools for somewhat a "universal" codec.

      The profiles are the "Simple profile" and the one DivX and similars use, is the "advanced simple profile". Don't go in the other profiles which talk about sprites yadda yadda because nobody has been able to do such thing (yet).

      So yes, so far all advances are adjustments into "how much can we push the mpeg4 advanced simple profile" to do better compression, while still retaining compatibility with the decoder.

      A revolution into coding
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:43AM (#11237634)
    x264 is a free (GPL) implementation done by one of the French guys of the videolan team (who made the VLC player).
    http://www.videolan.org/x264.html [videolan.org]
    MPlayer-pre6 now supports it. You just need to compile the x264 codec, and compile MPlayer with the x264 libraries linked (see ./configure options).

    I tried it, it is very promising.
    Apparently it also works with transcode and has a Win32 version too.

    See alsothis thread about using mencoder and x264:
    http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?threadid=830 39 [doom9.org]
  • Time to move on? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zmollusc (763634) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @05:52AM (#11237648)
    Erm, this may only apply to old codgers with failing faculties like myself, but I think that a level of acceptability has been reached.
    Just as mp3(and similar) is good enough to listen to and jpg, bmp and gif are good enough for the various static images needs, divx(xvid) and mpeg2 fill the processing requirements for moving images.
    With the cost of storage falling there is less need to build a higher compression video codec. If you want to do some good, come up with faster and higher quality ways to transcode things to an existing open codec standard.
    • Well even with broadband. I am not fan of downloading 200 megs when I could just D/L 20.

      If M$ does not screw up the AVC standard like they did with the first MPEG-4 one, we will all be happy campers in Mac and Linux land.
    • by HFShadow (530449) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @06:02AM (#11237662)
      No, they don't meet the processing requirements. "Just as mp3(and similar) is good enough to listen" - Mp3 files are small enough that even when encoded at a high bitrate, you can download a file reasonably fast. Audio quality is also alot more subjective to the listener then video is. Anyone can take a video and pause it and point out all the things that don't look quite right, something that can't be done with an MP3. Also since you know what a video is "supposed" to look like, you notice the errors more. Those stairs aren't blurry in real life, why are they in the movie? Same for faces, rain and other objects. Video codec's will always be worked on and updated, as higher quality video is demanded, sizes get larger and larger and more unworkable. When you have a large HDTV, do you really want to watch a divx video with blocky motion artifacts?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You kids and your divx and mpeg2, back in my day we used flip books made of papyrus and we liked it!
    • by liangzai (837960) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @08:22AM (#11237874) Homepage
      What you are saying is that 640 kB should be enough for everyone, or that since we have Microsoft Word we have reached a level of acceptability...

      This is not so, since new codecs do so much more than conserve bandwidth (which is in itself a good purpose, considering the Slashdot effect and other congestions that will always occur on tah intarweb). Some of them DO have better quality per se than MPEG-2, and some of them DO scale enormously much better. MPEG-4 was developed for these and other reasons, and there is a tremendous need for such a codec, not least from a wireless perspecive.

      Furthermore, it would be desirable to have a codec that can handle as many things as possible, rather than relying on a bunch of different codecs for different purposes.

      Finally, I believe in standards rather than proprietary formats and codecs. DivX is fine, but it is a bastardized version of MPEG-4, and there are also many different implementations. Most of them generate errors in VLC, whereas I have yet to see a failing MPEG-4 video.

      There are also the aspects of cross platform implementation (forget WMV9), simplicity, scalability and ingenuity in the architecture (why Quicktime was chosen as the MPEG-4 file architecture), and industry support (everyone but Redmond City supports MPEG-4). There.
  • Mission option! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @06:24AM (#11237695) Journal
    What about the mpeg4 codec from ffmpeg?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...is that MS has a pretty stranglehold on it (although they've been moving to lessen its grip so as to not get completely rejected entirely by the industry). No open source player has source code for decoding it, and on the Mac, the only player that supports it (Windows Media Player for Mac OS X) lacks so many features such as drag-n-drop support, displayal of the file's name during playback, AVI, MPEG, and MP3 support, etc.
  • Is WM9 part of AVC? (Score:4, Informative)

    by NeMon'ess (160583) <flinxmid@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Sunday January 02, 2005 @06:44AM (#11237717) Homepage Journal
    Googling for "What is AVC?" bring up this. [modulusvideo.com] I'm confused as to if they're saying AVC will be stardard in HD-DVD? Is WM9 an AVC? If not, will both be options for HD-DVD content providers? I ask because in the shootout WM9 didn't look very good. Relatively it blurs more of the scene than xvid.
    • No (Score:3, Informative)

      by Wesley Felter (138342)
      WMV9 is a competitor to AVC. HD DVD and Blu-ray support MPEG-2, AVC, and WMV9, so content providers can choose any of the three.
  • BBC's Dirac ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday January 02, 2005 @08:00AM (#11237830) Homepage
    I was hoping to get some insight as to how well dirac [bbc.co.uk] performs ...
    • At the moment, it doesn't.

      "A lot remains to be done to convert our promising algorithm and experimental implementation into practical useable code."

      • Could you please cite your source? It makes modding a little quicker if we can quickly access a reputable source by clicking a url rather than having to google for it. Sadly, this is often the difference between getting mod points and the moderator moving on to an easier to guague post.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 02, 2005 @09:08AM (#11237969)
    I love my $60 Philips DVP 642 Divx/Xvid stand-alone DVD Player:
    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=20465 [theinquirer.net]
    http://walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id= 2598455 [walmart.com]
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000 204SWE [amazon.com]

    When they make a $60 DVD player for other codecs than MPEG2/MPEG4 I'll be interested. Until then, why bother if something is a little bit better? A WMV9 DVD player would probably be another $50 and not worth it (not that they even exist right now).
    • The problem with most DivX capable DVD players (especially the "hackable" ones) is that their low quality of regular (MPEG-2) DVD playback.

      A $60 player is nice but I would pay 3 times as much for a unit that not only plays "everything" but actually plays it well.
    • I bought one of these after hearing so many people rave about how great they are. It's true, it does have very strong support for many PC file formats. However, there are some very serious drawbacks.
      1. The file system browser only shows the first 11 characters of the filename. To be able to accuately differentiate one file from another in the browser, you need to abbreviate the file names when you burn them to a disc. Even worse when playing MP3s which usually have long filenames.
      2. When viewing Divx files, i
      • When viewing Divx files, it streches the picture outside of the frame of the TV on all four sides,

        To be fair, it's not the player doing this, it's the fact that all TVs crop off a portion of the picture they recieve. Better TVs crop off less of the picture, but there isn't a TV that exists that will show you the entire 720x480 (NTSC).

        It crashes sometimes. I've never had a DVD player crash on me before.

        Thanks for saying that. I was thinking about getting one for some family members... I guess I'll sti

    • Until then, why bother if something is a little bit better?

      Let's see... Quality, space-savings, extra features, legal issues, etc.

      I'm more and more happy every day, that I put the (small) effort into building a multimedia PC. I can play nearly any video/audio format, with no restrictions like being forced to watch track-0 (trailers), no macrovision, etc. The video quality is much better than any stand-alone player I've seen. I can normalize volume so I can hear what they are saying, and not blow out m

  • I have a Liteon 2001 DVD player. When it first came out, Divx had all kinds of problems on it. It did well just a play a movie; fast-forwarding and rewinding were luxuries.

    Luxuries saved for Xvid. Xvid has always played absolutely perfect on it. I can FFW and FRW like it was an ordinary MPEG2, I can seek to a time and the pause is very small. It reads DVDRW's like they were mastered DVD's. It plays Vorbis and can handle WMV, as well nested directory structures.

    I did my own little comparison here, just rec
  • by dotwaffle (610149) <slashdot@@@walster...org> on Sunday January 02, 2005 @01:53PM (#11239119) Homepage
    I'm not an Open-Source zealot, in fact I frequently prefer a lot of non-open-source software, but I can definately see why people prefer that method of development. And the creation of a "standard" is exactly why open-source should be used when it is applied to software. For an example, what happens in 200 years time when someone wants to read a Blu-ray/HD-DVD? They can't! WMVv9's specification, AFAIK, has not been publicly released, and so it will quickly be superseeded and forgotten. However, MPEG-2 has been publicly specified and therefore can be read in the future by simply reading and understanding the specification. We use standards so that we don't have to rely on a company, or a person to decode the data for us, without our knowledge of how it works. If something is going to be used to store data for future retrieval, we want to be able to refer back to how it was made. I've not made it clear what I mean, but hopefully people can understand. XviD appears to be not only the most logical choice from a point of view of being a freely available standard that no-one wants control of, just willing to contribute to, it is also of the highest quality and and speed, and goes well with Ogg Vorbis sound, which is also completely open-source. I will not buy any Blu-ray or HD-DVD's whilst they intend on pursuing this course of action. I don't have very good speakers or very good TV anyway, so DVD will do for me :)
    • what happens in 200 years time when someone wants to read a Blu-ray/HD-DVD? They can't!

      most likely because the media has degraded beyond recovery, and not because the compression techniques and recording technologies haven't been preserved in the achieves.

      this is not a new problem, it dates from the invention of writing and the first scratches on a clay tablet. there are secrets to protect, knowledge to preserve. language changes. media changes.

      XviD appears to be not only the most logical choice from a p

      • Just as a reference, Digital has been in the UK for years, but not HD. In fact, HD isn't even due to launch for a few years... Why? UK audiences are happy with what they have at the moment. It'll take at least 5 years before we get to the level that the US is at, if at all. Of course, we have the benefit of our PAL signal, which is unaffected by DC noise :) Seriously, if you watch an NTSC stream on a US TV versus the UK PAL equivalent with NICAM stereo, the UK will be better every time. HDTV isn't the big j
  • Flawed comparison? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spectecjr (31235) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @02:06PM (#11239183) Homepage
    Am I the only person here who thinks that recompressing an already MPEG2 compressed source is going to cause lots of problems for other compressors? At the very least, they now have to deal with block quantization artifacts, and all of the associated ringing etc.

    Not to mention that because the sources were not compressed in a lossless fashion, there's less data to work with than they started out with.

    So I guess if your goal is to test how well other codecs can recompress MPEG2 data, it's all well and dandy. What might be a better test is to see how all of the codecs work on DV encoded data, as that is rapidly becoming a common source of video information.
    • Where would they get uncompressed video to start with in the first place? Did you mean to imply that DV encoded data isn't lossy compressed? I believe it is, fixed 5:1 compression in fact.
      • Where would they get uncompressed video to start with in the first place?

        I don't know... maybe POV ray renders? Or perhaps they could capture analogue TV? *shrugs* Either way, it's not my problem.

        Did you mean to imply that DV encoded data isn't lossy compressed? I believe it is, fixed 5:1 compression in fact.

        No, but it's pretty soon going to be the industry standard video source from broadcast to consumer level (if it isn't already). Given that you edit as close to the source data as possible, and onl
  • Transcoding? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cooldev (204270) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @03:07PM (#11239473)
    Can any video experts comment how transcoding from MPEG-2 affects video quality?

    This is a good test for comparing the quality of codecs for ripping DVDs, but do the results hold true when an uncompressed master is used as the source?
  • ...is that people take his comparisons as overall performance instead of overall performance with his chosen settings (I'll admit he's good...) and transcoding from an MPEG2 source. Sadly, most of these codecs he's using aren't for transcoding- they're for encoding never before compressed feeds. So, in all honesty, he should take care when he makes comments along the lines of none of the codecs are capable of DVD quality (Which he made in the current comparison...).

    He really, really ought to qualify that

That does not compute.

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